alexa Within-Season Variation of Fitness in Elite Youth Female Soccer Players

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Within-Season Variation of Fitness in Elite Youth Female Soccer Players

Matthew Weston,

Participation in women’s soccer has increased significantly in recent times. It is estimated that women in 132 countries participate in soccer, with up to 1.4 million alone in the UK playing at various age groups and levels of competition. Despite this, female soccer players are seen as a specialist population. The demands of elite women’s soccer are reported to be similar to that of elite male soccer regarding the mean match intensity (~85% of maximal heart rate), and distance covered (~10 km). However, research has reported that junior female players possess a significantly lower aerobic capacity than that of elite senior players, indicating that the activity pattern of youth soccer will differ somewhat from senior play. Irrespective of this, it would still appear that good anaerobic capabilities and welldeveloped aerobic fitness are pre-requisites to successful performance at elite level in women’s soccer, regardless of age.

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